Sporting Braga went clear top of the Liga on Monday, beating União de Leiria 2-0
at home. Braga got off to the perfect start on five minutes when a cross from the left by Paulo César got enough of a touch by central defender Diego Gaúcho
for the ball to sneak inside the far post, leaving 'keeper Djuricic wrong-footed. Going down so early against a team like Braga was more then União had planned for or could handle, and they were forced to take flak throughout the first half. On ten minutes, a Mossoró free-kick was headed towards goal by Alan at the back post, but Djuricic blocked. On 30 minutes, the same combination saw Mossoró making the line on the left to cut back, with Alan seeing his shot palmed over by Djuricic. It took União 33 minutes to get a decent shot on goal, Elías forcing Eduardo to a simple save. But then a minute later, Mossoró was through on goal and who else but Djuricic was out to block.
was proving a headache for the União defence, once again causing danger four minutes from half time as he cut in from the right and aimed his shot low into the bottom left–hand corner … at least that was where the ball was going before the excellent
Djuricic went down to stop it.
The second half had fewer incidents but was more of the same, i.e. Braga in control and União only sporadically threatening. But as long as the lead was only one goal, Braga were uncertain of the points.
It was substitute Matheus on the edge of the box that gave them some breathing space on 68 minutes, chesting down a ball from deep before turning and placing his shot past the exposed Djuricic.
Braga move two points ahead of Benfica, five ahead of FC Porto and ten ahead of fourth team Nacional.
Sporting Braga: Eduardo, João Pereira, Moisés, Rodriguez, Evaldo, Mossoró, Vandinho, Andrés Madrid, Alan, Meyong (Matheus 61), Paulo César (Adriano 77)
União de Leiria:
Djuricic, Hugo Gomes, Bruno Miguel, Diego Gaúcho, Paulo Vinícius, André Santos, Vitor Moreno (Marco Soares 77), Elias, Silas (Cássio 83), Ouattara (Tiago Luís 45), Carlão
FC Porto made up two points on rivals Benfica on Sunday – they are now three points behind – after beating a difficult Rio Ave 2-1
at the Dragão in front of just 22,512, the lowest league gate of the season. Porto were ahead on 23 minutes, Hulk
doing a 1-2 with Falcão and, helped by some lucky bounces, prodding the ball past Carlos. A minute later, Rio Ave were level, a cross by José Gomes on the right headed home by the top Portuguese scorer in the league, veteran
João Tomás. Then just a minute later, Bruno Alves headed goalwards but was denied by José Gomes on the line.
Rio Ave came to the Dragão with their lesson well learned, and they kept Porto to the draw until half time. Ten minutes into the second half, Porto were awarded a penalty for a dubious foul on Fucile by
Sidnei, but Falcão
cracked the spot kick against the bar. On 65 minutes, Raul Meireles found himself in front of goal, but his shot was well saved by the excellent Carlos. The game was trundling towards a draw when on 81 minutes, a corner from the left by Raul Meireles was headed down by Falcão and
Varela, on as sub, turned the ball in from close range. Tarantini had a chance to level for Rio Ave before the end, but the result remained.
FC Porto: Beto, Fucile, Maicon, Bruno Alves, Álvaro Pereira, Belluschi (Varela 64), Fernando, Raul Meireles (Guarín 84), Hulk, Falcao (Farias 67), Rodriguez.
Carlos, José Gomes, Gaspar, Fábio Faria, Sílvio (Chidi 61), Wires (Wesllem 85), André Vilas Boas, Vítor Gomes (Tarantini 11), Bruno Gama, João Tomás, Sidnei.
, who had not won since the second jornada, were 2-0 up at one point against a ten man Marítimo, but the Madeiran side are made of strong stuff these days and clawed their way back to 2-2. The
first half was all Marítimo, Baba heading against the bar on 12 minutes and Bruno hitting the same bar from a free kick ten minutes later. Belenenses' first shot was a failed one by Lima on 41 minutes, but the
Brazilian striker was eventually to prove instrumental in the final score.
On 52 minutes, Gomez put a brilliant through ball to Lima, who touched it past Peçanha and was brought down. The Marítimo 'keeper was sent off, and Lima
knocked the spot kick past Marcelo, despite the substitute goalkeeper getting a hand to it. Fifteen minutes later, Alonso lost the ball to Lima five metres inside the Belenenses half, but Lima
was strong enough to run on and clip the ball past Marcelo as he came out. It looked like Belenenses might be heading for an elusive victory, but sub Kléber headed a ball on for Manu on 76 minutes and the diminutive winger centred only for
Beto to turn the ball past his own 'keeper. Then four minutes from time, Nélson saw a Bruno free kick late, could not hold on to it, and Manu was on the hand to tap in.
Belenenses: Nélson, Mano, Beto, Diakité, Barge, Gabriel Gomez, Pelé, André Almeida (Devic 84), Ivan (Adu 80), Lima, Fredy (Celestino 64).
Marítimo: Peçanha, Paulo Jorge, Fernando, João Guilherme, Alonso, Bruno, Olberdam (Kléber 67), Manú, Marcinho (Marcelo Boeck 54), Djalma (Robson 67), Baba.
Paços Ferreira and Leixões drew 1-1, a result that enables Leixões to escape, at least momentarily, the relegation zone. William
put Paços in front on 51 minutes, finishing off a low cross from the left by Roncatto. On 72 minutes, Hugo Morais equalised from the spot after Danielson had handled. Leixões winger Jean Sony
was harshly sent off on 68 minutes for a foul on Cristiano that looked worse than it was. Two minutes later, Leixões' assistant coach Jorge Mendonça
was also sent off for words to the ref; he had been standing in for José Mota supended after being sent off in a previous match … for words to the ref. Paços are 10th, Leixões 13th.
Paços de Ferreira: Cássio, Baiano, Ricardo, Danielson, Maykon, Filipe Anunciação (Fábio Pacheco 80), Pedrinha (Roncatto 46), Leonel Olímpio, Manuel José (Carlitos 72), Cristiano, William.
Leixões: Diego, Nuno Silva, Joel, Tucker, Gallo, Fernando Alexandre, Wénio, Hugo Morais, Jean Sony, Leo (Pouga 56, Trombetta 90), Braga (Fábio Espinho 83).
Vitória de Setúbal are bottom after going down 3-0 at Académica. Sougou, fed by Tiero, cut in from the right on 22 minutes and sent the ball under Nuno Santos. Four minutes into
the second half, Tiero got the second with a free kick from the edge of the box. Then on 68 minutes, Sougou
tied it all up with a panlty after Collin had brought down João Ribeiro. Académica continue their climb out of trouble under new coach André Villas Boas.
Académica: Rui Nereu, Pedrinho, Orlando (Amoreirinha 46), Berger, Emídio Rafael, Nuno Coelho, Tiero, Cris, João Ribeiro (Miguel Pedro 73), Sougou, Éder (Vouho 79).
Vitória de Setúbal:
Nuno Santos, Zarabi (Luís Carlos 56), André Pinto, Zoro, Collin, Alvaro Fernandez, Sandro, Kaz (Ruben Lima 70), Djikiné, Hélder Barbosa. Keita (Rui Fonte 68).
As so often happens, Saturday's Sporting v Benfica clássico
was not exactly a classic game of football. Looking at the table, Benfica were favourites going into the match, watched by 45,880, but their form has been a little uneven of late, and Sporting had the springboard of a new coach,
Carlos Carvalhal; in fact they did look sharper and more committed. So the game was well balanced, with both sides fighting tooth and nail for the midfield, both defences doing sterling cleaning up, and both
attacks squandering chances.
As early as the second minute, Sporting showed their new energy, Liedson breaking on goal but stopped by the astute Sidnei. Benfica's first real chance came on 13 minutes, Aimar putting Cardozo
through, but the lanky Paraguayan put his shot wide. On 23, Adrien crossed for Carriço to control at the back post, but he blasted his shot over. A minute later, Liedson
this time got the better of Sidnei but he shot straight at Quim. Five minutes from the break, a Moutinho corner found Anderson Polga
but the central defender headed over. And in added time, a Di Maria free kick sailed just over the heads of David Luíz and Javi Garcia in dangerous positions.
The near misses continued into the second half, with David Luiz going on a typically adventurous run five minutes into the half but sending his shot over from 25 metres. Five minutes later,
Saviola rattled the bar … but was pulled back for offside. Then on 58 minutes came the moment of the match: the very useful Miguel Veloso cracked a spectacular drive goalwards from a full 35 metres, but
Quim was quick across his goal to put it round the post for a corner. Quim saved again from Vukcevic on 62, Rui Patrício
stopped Di Maria with his knees on 70 and then seven minutes from time, Benfica had possibly their best chance: a shot-cum-cross from Di Maria found Ramires
at the back post, but the Brazilian saw it late and put it over.
It was Sporting's fifth consecutive draw. Benfica go provisionally top of the Liga, 11 points ahead of their Lisbon rivals, but Sporting could be 13 points off the pace if Sporting Braga
beat União de Leiria on Monday.
Sporting: Rui Patrício, Abel (Pedro Silva 44), Carriço, Polga, Caneira, Miguel Veloso, Adrien, João Moutinho, Matias (Pereirinha 73), Vukcevic (Postiga 83), Liedson.
Quim, Maxi, Sidnei (Miguel Vítor 77), David Luiz, César Peixoto, Javi Garcia, Ramires, Aimar (Rúben Amorim 67), Di Maria, Cardozo, Saviola (Fábio Coentrão 85).
Nacional's Angolan forward Mateus equalised on the stroke of time at home to Naval. Naval had gone in front with a goal from Camora just before the break.
Nacional: Bracalli, Patacas, Felipe Lopes, Nuno Pinto, Tomasevic, Cléber (Mateus 46), Luís Alberto, Rúben Micael, Leandro Salino, Pecnik (João Aurélio 62), Edgar Silva (Anselmo 69).
Naval: Peiser, Carlitos, Diego, Gomis, Daniel Cruz, Godemeche, Bolivia (Michel 89), Baradji, Camora (Zé Mário 86), Marinho, Kerrouche.
Nacional's coach Manuel Machado
is in intensive care in a hospital in Madeira after undergoing an operation for a hernia on Tuesday; he subsequently contracted an infection. He was replaced on the bench on Saturday by assistant José Augusto.
Vitória de Guimarães were just too strong for a struggling Olhanense in the Algarve on Friday. Man of the match Targino crossed on 20 minutes for Nuno Assis, the shortest man on the
pitch, to head in. Two minutes from half time, however, the same Nuno Assis allowed Ventura to save a penalty, with Douglas following up to shoot against the post. It was not until the 66-minute mark that Vitória
could breathe a sigh of relief, Targino, in superb form, dummying two defenders before clipping in the second for Paulo Sérgio's re-vamped Vitória to secure all three points, 2-0. Olhanense have now gone
seven games without a win and six games without scoring a goal, and could slip into the relegation places this weekend
Olhanense: Ventura, Tengarrinha, Sandro, Éder Baiano, Carlos Fernandes, Rui Baião, Castro (Djalmir 68), Rui Duarte, Zequinha (Toy 54), Rabiola (Greg 68), Ukra.
Vitória de Guimarães: Nilson, Alex, Leandro, Gustavo, Andrezinho, Flávio Meireles, Custódio, João Alves (Rui Miguel 76), Nuno Assis (Marquinho 92), Targino, Douglas (Roberto 82).
Benfica went equal top of the Liga on Monday, beating a resistant Naval 1-0 in a thrilling game in front of 41,000 at the Luz. Naval were extremely well organised and defended in
depth, but Benfica managed many times to get to the goal to create danger, and the game could have turned into a rout but for the woodwork on two occasions, some last minute blocks by defenders and an excellent
display from Naval's Peiser. The French 'keeper kept out everything until the 89th minute: Di Maria looked to have dive to get a free-kick near the sideline on the left, and his in-swinging free-kick was headed home by an unmarked
Javi Garcia for Benfica's 18th goal (out of 31) from dead-ball situations.
Benfica: Quim, Maxi Pereira (Keirrison 77), Luisão, David Luiz, Fábio Coentrão, Ruben Amorim, Javi Garcia, Aimar, Dí Maria, Nuno Gomes (Weldon 58), Saviola
Peiser, Gomis, Diego Ângelo, Daniel Cruz, Baradji, Carlitos, Alex Hauw, Godemeche, Camora, Marinho, Kerrouche (Michel Simplício 67)
The reigning Champions FC Porto suffered their second defeat of the season on Sunday, going down 1-0 at Marítimo in what coach Jesualdo Ferreira considered was "the worst performance
so far". Porto looked a ramshackle outfit, especially in the first half. They went behind to an own goal on the half hour, Rolando
sticking a leg out to an Alonso cross and seeing it loop over Hélton. Porto managed to create more danger in the second half, but Peçanha
was up to anything they were firing at him, the highlight a wonderful save from Falcão midway through the half. By the end, Porto were throwing everything forward, including Bruno Alves as an extra striker, but it all had a whiff of desperation about it, and it was Marítimo who got their first home win against Porto since 2003. They have now won three and drawn one under coach
Mitchell Van der Gaag.
Marítimo: Peçanha, Paulo Jorge (Taka 82), João Guilherme, Fernando Silva, Alonso, Bruno, Roberto Sousa, Manu (Briguel 65), Marcinho (Cláudio Pitbull 86), Djalma, Babá.
Helton, Sapunaru (Tomás Costa 74), Rolando, Bruno Alves, Álvaro Pereira, Guarín, Fernando, Raul Meireles, Hulk, Falcao, Rodríguez (Farías 61).
It looked like Sporting might have reacted positively after the resignation of coach Paulo Bento as they went 2-0 up by half time at Rio Ave. Matías Fernandez
got the first, winning the ball 20 metres out and going on a slalom run, including a delightful dummy on Fábio Faria, before firing under Carlos' body. Then just before the break, the referee saw a handball by Sílvio, and
scored from the spot. But Sporting took their foot off the pedal in the second half and allowed Rio Ave back into the game. On 56 minutes, Bruno Gama found Sidnei on the left who made the line, and his low cross was turned in by
João Tomás. Three minutes later, the same João Tomás beat Tonel to a cross from the right to put the ball past Rui Patrício at the near post. Sporting lost Daniel Carriço
on 64 minutes after he saw a second yellow, and Rio Ave should blame themselves for not taking advantage of the numerical superiority and a clear collapse of Sporting's organisation. Fifteen minutes from time,
Caicedo was guilty of an appalling miss in front of goal, with only Carlos to beat.
Rio Ave: Carlos, José Gomes (Adriano 80), Gaspar, Fábio Faria, Sílvio, Wires, Vítor Gomes, Ricardo Chaves (Tarantini 46), Bruno Gama, Sidnei (Chidi 74), João Tomás.
Rui Patrício; Pedro Silva, Tonel, Daniel Carriço, André Marques (Caicedo 62), Miguel Veloso, João Motinho, Vukcevic (Angulo 46), Matías Fernandez, Hélder Postiga (Polga 67), Liedson.
2-4 at home to Nacional, who are struggling in Europe but improving at home. Pouga put the home side in front within seconds, but within half an hour they were behind to two penalties by Edgar
Silva and two men down: Zé Manuel got a direct red on 20 minutes, and they were down to nine on the half hour when Nuno Silva saw a second yellow. Edgar
got his hat trick on 75 minutes, but Leixões thought they were up for it when Hugo Morais pulled one back five minutes from time. Anselmo, though, confirmed that the Maderian side would take home the
points on the stroke of time.
Leixões: Diego, Sony, Nuno Silva, Tucker, Laranjeiro, Wênio, Ruben (Cauê 46), Hugo Morais, Zé Manuel, Pouga (Faioli 63), Tiago Cintra (Léo 46).
Rafael Bracali, Felipe Lopes, Clebão, Tomasevic (Edgar Costa 26), Patacas, Cléber (Luís Alberto 49), Wellington, Leandro Salino, Ruben Micael, João Aurélio, Edgar Silva (Anselmo 76).
1-1 at União de Leiria, the goals happening in the dying minuttes. Cris put Académica in front with a back-heel on 89 minutes, but Diego Gaúcho
managed an equaliser for Leiria in added time.
União de Leiria:
Djuricic, Hugo Gomes, Bruno Miguel, Diego Gaúcho, Vítor Moreno (Paulo Vinícius 40), André Santos, Panandetiguiri, Pateiro, Silas (Marco Soares 87), Carlão e Cássio (Pedro Cervantes 72).
Rui Nereu, Pedrinho, Berger, Amoreirinha, Emídio Rafael, Nuno Coelho (Paulo Sérgio 67), Tiero, Cris, Sougou (Miguel Fidalgo 77), João Ribeiro, Ederzito (Lito 62).
Sporting Braga lost their unbeaten run to local rivals Vitória de Guimarães (1-0) in the Minho derby on Saturday. Braga, missing the dynamic João Pereira at right back, suspended, and
pressured relentlessly by a Guimarães side reacting very positively to the gutless defeat at Académica last week, never really found their game all evening. The deciding goal was a cracker, Vitória's two best
players on the night combining on 29 minutes: Nuno Assis crossed from the right for French left back Desmarets
to volley home at the back post. Braga can now be caught at the top by Benfica, if they beat Naval on Sunday.
Vitória de Guimarães: Nilson, Andrezinho, Moreno, Gustavo Lazzaretti, Sereno, João Alves (Custódio 77), Flávio Meireles, Desmarets, Nuno Assis (Alex 81), Targino, Roberto (Rui Miguel 89).
Sporting Braga: Eduardo, Ney, Moisés, Rodríguez, Evaldo, Vandinho, Hugo Viana (Osvaldo 88), Alan, Mossoró (Adriano 77), Paulo César (Matheus 52), Meyong.
put a brake on recent bad results with a fully deserved if dull 0-0 draw at Vitória de Setúbal, who came closest to scoring in the first half when Hélder Barbosa hit the post. In the second, Zequinha
had a free header that he somehow managed to miss. Olhanense's Miguel Garcia was sent off near the end for a second yellow.
V. Setúbal: Nuno Santos, Zarabi, Zoro, André Pinto, Ruben Lima (Vasco Varão 70), Djikiné, Sandro, Kazmierczak, Luís Carlos (Rui Fonte 80), Hélder Barbosa (Lourenço 88), Keita.
Ventura, Miguel Garcia, Sandro, Eder Baiano, Carlos Fernandes, Castro, Rui Duarte, Paulo Sérgio (Rabiola 45), Zequinha, Ukra, Greg (Guga 76).
After a bright start, Belenenses collapsed 0-3 at home to Paços de Ferreira on Friday, Paços' first away win since April of last year. Their best player, nippy forward Cristiano
, got two of the goals: his first was a free-kick on 26 minutes that deflected wildly off the defensive wall to fool Nélson, his second a shot on the counter attack, fed by Olímpio. William
clinched the victory on 72 minutes after Barge had lost the ball close to the goal. There were white handcherchiefs at the end in the 1,500 crowd, signalling problems ahead for Belenenses coach João Carlos Pereira.
Belenenses: Nélson; Mano, Rodrigo Arroz, Diakité, Barge, Gabriel Gomez, Fellipe Bastos (Igor 81), Ivan, Celestino (Dani 68), Fredy (André Almeida 88), Lima.
Paços de Ferreira: Cássio, Baiano, Ricardo, Danielson, Maykon, Leonel Olímpio, Pedrinha, Filipe Anunciação, Mário Rondon (Ciel 60), William (Carlitos 86), Cristiano (Roncatto 77).
An improved Académica notched up their first win of the season on Monday, 2-0 at home to Vitória de Guimarães. Moreno handled on 36 minutes and Sougou
scored from the spot. On 56 minutes, Éder headed home a free-kick from João Ribeiro to effectively put the game beyond a disappointing Guimarães.
Académica: Rui Nereu, Pedrinho, Orlando, Berger, Emídio Rafael, Nuno Coelho, Tiero, Cris (Paulo Sérgio 62), Sougou (Lito 71), Éder (Bru 80), João Ribeiro.
Vitória de Guimarães:
Nilson, Andrezinho (Sereno 60), Lazzaretti, Moreno (Roberto 60), Alex, Flávio Meireles (Rui Miguel 45), João Alves, Targino, Nuno Assis, Desmarets, Douglas.
Académica remain at the bottom of the table on six points, one behind a group of four teams on seven: Paços de Ferreira, Vitória de Guimarães, Vitória de Setúbal and Olhanense.
Upsets suffered by the Três Grandes this weekends (Porto drew 1-1 at home to Belenenses, Benfica lost 0-2 in Braga) continued on Sunday as Sporting could only draw 1-1
at home to Marítimo. It was a blistering start, with both 'keepers called into action to keep out the danger, but after ten minutes or so, the game drifted into scruffiness, and it was only in the second
half that there were changes to the scoreboard. On 53 minutes, the Marítimo centre-backs both went for the same ball 25 metres out, the ball fell for Matias Fernandez
and the Chilean midfielder took it on a few paces and sent it past Peçanha's right hand from 20 metres out. On the hour, however, Fernandez's goal was overshadowed by a monumental effort from Manú, who
picked the ball up out on the right and sent a swerving shot into the top left hand corner from a full 30 metres.
Sporting: Rui Patrício, Abel (Caicedo 64), Daniel Carriço, Tonel, André Marques (Saleiro 82), Miguel Veloso, Pereirinha (Pedro Silva 64), João Moutinho, Matias Fernandez, Hélder Postiga, Liedson.
Marítimo: Peçanha, Paulo Jorge, João Guilherme, Fernando, Alonso, Roberto Sousa, Bruno, Marcinho (Pitbull 90), Manú (Briguel 78), Djalma (Taka 72), Babá.
Sporting drop to 7th in the table. At the final whistle there were white handkerchiefs in the stands and several banners bearing the word 'Rua!' ('Out!'), aimed at the coach Paulo
Bento. Outside the ground, some fans tried to gain access to the administrative building and the police (200 were on duty) fired into the air to disperse the frustrated sportinguistas.
Nacional are in 5th place after a 2-1 win at home to Vitória de Setúbal. Vitória were in front on ten minutes, Keita scoring from the spot after Clebão had brought down Hélder Barbosa. In added time in the first half, Ruben Micael crossed from deep for Slovenian midfielder Pecnik to head home. Nacional dominated the second half and justly won with a neat turn and clip in from Anselmo after a through pass from Pecnik on 85 minutes.
Nacional: Bracalli, Abdou (Edgar Costa 23), Felipe Lopes, Clebão (Halliche 45), Nuno Pinto, Luís Alberto, Rúben Micael, Leandro Salino, Pecnik, Mateus, Edgar Silva (Anselmo 81).
Vitória Setúbal: Nuno Santos, Collin (Alan 41), Zoro, André Pinto, Zarabi, Sandro, Kazmierczak, Djikiné, Luís Carlos (Vasco Varão 83), Hélder Barbosa, Keita (Álvaro 60).
União de Leiria brought back all three points from Paços de Ferreira, a headed goal from Cássio on 17 minutes enough to cinch a 1-0 win.
Paços de Ferreira: Cássio, Ozeia (Maykon 46), Ricardo, Danielson, Filipe Anunciação, Baiano, Fábio Pacheco (Carlitos 63), Leonel Olímpio, Mário Rondon, Cristiano (Romeu Torres 79), William.
União de Leiria: Djuric, Hugo Gomes, Bruno Miguel, Diego Gaúcho, Vinicius, André Santos, Panandetiguiri, Pateiro, Silas (Marco Soares 65), Carlão (Kone 90), Cássio (Tiago Luís 60).
also won 1-0 away, at Olhanense, João Tomás heading in the only goal on ten minutes.
Olhanense: Ventura, João Gonçalves (Greg 46), Sandro, Anselmo, Carlos Fernandes, Tengarrinha, Castro (Zequinha 71), Rui Duarte, Ukra, Rabiola (Guga 71), Paulo Sérgio.
Carlos, Zé Gomes, Gaspar, Fábio Faria, Sílvio, André Vilas Boas, Wires (Adriano 67), Vítor Gomes (Tarantini 87), Bruno Gama (Chidi 69), João Tomás, Sidnei.
Rio Ave are in 4th
, while Olhanense are stuck second from bottom.
Sporting Braga went clear top of the Liga on Saturday, beating rivals Benfica 2-0
at the AXA Stadium in Braga. In a tense, engrossing game, Braga always looked the sharper of the two teams and were first out of the blocks, apparently surprising Benfica with their aggressiveness and organisation. And they were 1-0 up after seven minutes,
cracking in a superb free kick from an angle out on the right that sailed into the opposite top corner, leaving Quim flat-footed and Cardozo frustrated in his attempted clearance. On 28 minutes, Benfica were 'level' … until they heard the referee's whistle penalising a supposed foul near goal before Luisão headed in.
It was a bad-tempered game, with João Pereira and Fábio Coentrão especially guilty. As the players entered the tunnel for half-time, there was some pushing and shoving, and when the teams returned for the
second half, they were minus André Leone and Cardozo, who both saw a red card for an incident in the tunnel. Braga benefited from the expulsions: Rodriguez slotted smoothly into the back four, but
Jorge Jesus's attempts to compensate for the loss of Cardozo, through Keirrison and later Weldon, failed. And then on 77 minutes, the game was done and dusted: Braga worked the ball down the right, Matheus made the
line, crossed low and back and there was Paulo César to bury the ball. Moíses cleared off the line ten minutes from time, and Braga managed to control the game and the score until the end.
Sporting Braga: Eduardo, João Pereira, Moisés, André Leone, Evaldo, Vandinho, Hugo Viana (Madrid 85), Alan, Paulo César, Mossoró (Matheus 58), Meyong (Rodriguez 46).
Quim, Maxi Pereira, Luisão, David Luiz, Fábio Coentrão, Javi Garcia (Keirrison 54), Ramires, Di María, Aimar (Ruben Amorim 81), Saviola (Weldon 81), Cardozo.
It was the first time Benfica had failed to score this season, and Braga are now the only unbeaten team in the Liga, having already faced the Três Grandes
(Benfica, Porto and Sporting) and beaten all of them. They are top, three points ahead of Benfica and five ahead of Porto. No one at Braga is declaring openly that the team is a candidate for the title
, but they must be beginning to dream.
Naval beat Leixões 1-0 at home, Kerrouche lashing in a shot from an acute angle for the only goal on 53 minutes.
Naval: Peiser, Carlitos, Gómis, Diego, Camora, Lazaroni,
Alex Hauw (Baradji 83), Godemèche, Michel Simplício (Bolívia 63), Kerrouche (Tandia 74), Marinho
Leixões: Diego, Sony, Nuno Silva, Joel, Nelson (Braga 54), Wenio, Caué, Hugo Morais, José Manuel, Léo (Cong Vinh 64), Tiago Cintra (Pouga 61).